Animal diet botanical composition compared with pasture species composition as indicators for pasture status in the semi-arid rangeland of Sudan (South Darfur State)

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Abusuwar, Awad
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University of Khartoum
A study was conducted during the period 2006/08 in the semi-arid rangeland of South Darfur State, Sudan at Eldien locality (latitudes 9°-30́ and 11°-45́ north and longitudes 25°-30́and 27° east, ecologically in the low rainfall woodland savannah with an annual rainfall between 400-600 mm).. The objective of the study was to evaluate animal diet botanical composition in comparison with pasture species composition as indicators for pasture status in the area. Data were collected for pasture species composition (Parker loop method, 1955) and animal diet botanical composition (Van Dyne Method,1968) over two years both in early wet and late dry summer seasons. Results showed that diet botanical composition was composed of pure herbaceous plant species during rainy and early dry summer seasons and a mixture of browse and herbaceous species in the late dry summer season. Calcium in animal diet was present in a suitable concentration, whereas phosphorous was present at low concentration. Although the percent species composition of the natural pasture provides an indicator of range composition, animal diet botanical composition could be used as an indicator of the pasture status. Both parameters could be very useful in designing range management practices, such as selecting species required for reseeding deteriorated range and in identifying key species that will form a base for range management.
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Pasture species composition, diet botanical composition, range condition, pasture status, Ca and P in animal diet